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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 1, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EST

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the european union and the united states to calm the situation, to make the situation not escalate ore? >> thank you. as you and me, i am following the final stance of the security council. i know that we have the support because several days ago, when the presidency briefed the ecurity council, the discussion brought to the exchange of the positions of the security council member states on the situation in the ukraine. all 14 members, 15 is russia, they stated that for the territorial integrity, they stated for the unity, they stated practically for the support.
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count on this majority. but if the security council is really capable to deal with the ituation like the ukraine has, in terms of security council reform, its effectiveness, the rapid mystery act -- the rapidness to react to stop the violence. i am referring to what the french leadership stated during the general assembly last september. to forget about the leaders when atrocities are standing before us. when a challenge to international peace is in front of us. well, this is my expectation, but also the expectation of the major general assembly supporters as well. i don't think that the respective country could pause
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itself about what they think about all of these trocities. >> are you saying there is no way in which the current government of kiev would accept the idea of a referendum in crimea without outside partial monitors to find out what the people of crimea want in the way of their government? >> to be a pure legal list, i should say the decision by the crimea parliament was taken llegally, but as well there is no legislation of the ukraine, neither crimea, it has to be regional or local referendums. there is a profession of our state law on the referendums -- there is a provision of the state law on the referendums
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that if any question refers to the territorial integrity of changing of the status of any regions of the ukraine, it should be a national referendum. so at least, in legal terms, the specific bill should be adopted to move with all of these thoughts and decisions. that's why in legal terms, constitutional terms, it is very difficult. it's very difficult to realize it now with all of the steps. >> ambassador, are you confident the new ukrainian government has the support of the ukrainian security forces n this crisis? and also, is the ukraine prepared to defend itself militarily, or doesn't have the capability to do so against the ussian federation?
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>> good question. the opposition, before changing the constitutional majority in the parliament, before the creation of the government, they stated that they would be in favor of the government of the people's trust. and we had for the first time in our history very specific kind of consultations with eople. so each of the candidates of the ministers, they were negotiated with the set of society organized on independence square. they organize the council. and all of the candidates were
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agreed with them. some of these candidacies were hrown out. so it means the minister of defense is a professional military man. e was supported by the people, and he is respected in the rmy. in the security, supporters from the opposition, his candidacy is supported by the people. and he used to be the chief of ecurity during a time. and the minister of the nterior. so people demonstrated their support, their full support in the ministry.
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they got those who were professional people. we count on that. the second question is very painful for me, because i don't want to think about any kind of military development around the settlement of the question. but i think -- i think we are strong enough to defend ourselves. we have a strong feeling, we have a spiritual feeling that we are right in what we are doing. >> can you talk about the resolution invoking the international criminal court? did this come up, and also the request to extradite mr. yanukovych back? what are the status of those actions? >> you can find the experts on how this works.
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well, it's not so easy to move directly. o what do we have. we should ratify the statute. we should, because it has been pending since the democratic governments failed to ratify t, and now it is ratified. but it does not mean that it could work. but what we have on the ground, there is the people's initiative. there is the initiative committee to connect all the crimes of the former power. this people's committee is headed by a professional, my former colleague and former ambassador to the united kingdom, a professor of international law, any formal
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judge -- former judge. they are collecting and making analysis of all of the crimes and atrocities of the former regime. then the next step, i don't know. i think, first of all, it should be decided in the ukrainian court by ukrainians, and then to see how we can move. but it was not so frightening for yanukovych, no, not hat. when he had the parliament take their decision to criminalize the article of the former criminal court which permits to release the prisoner, he dmitted. >> was the comedy the press
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conference? > yes. >> but if instead of thinking it is a comedy, the russian government thinks that yanukovych is still the president of the ukraine, do you think that sooner or later there will be a problem of who is the legal representatives of the ukraine? do you have everybody recognizing you at the moment as the ambassador of the ukraine? >> uh, a good question. but to answer the comedy, please look carefully how it was organized. no answers to the questions raised by the journalists. microphones were switched off. he kept saying, i am the president of the ukraine, i am the president of the ukraine, so it was the only task for him not to answer the questions. the questions were very tough.
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the question was, what can you say about your luxury palace and what we discovered there, and so on. as to his legacy as the president, as to the question which is pending, either it was the coup d'état or was the normal process of the political changes in the parliament. the former speaker of the parliament who was the right hand of yanukovych made several statements. you could look at his video and hat he said. he denied whatever yanukovych said about attempts to kill this former speaker. he talked about the process in parliament as reformation of
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the parliamentary majority. took the decision as to the creation of the government legally. what happens now and is pending again is the question. he agreed and signed. within 48 hours the parliament should adopt the deal opening the doors to return to the constitution i don't have 2004 which was illegally changed by the former government in 2010. and the president according to the procedure should sign it. instead of doing that he disappeared. his ans that he left
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constitutional duties, disappeared, and what to do. he disappeared. i don't think that to his representative in the parliament, and he founded in the parliament that the president told me he is about to resign even. then the opposition leader called him and got a confirmation what to do in that situation to move ahead. the parliament took the decision based on the fact that the president left his constitutional duties. he did not fulfill them to sign is important agreement which brings ukraine back to the parliamentary republic when the thor taryn package of the owers in one hand were the
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council. so it means that he left his duties. then he left the country. then even to look at what his own political party in the parliament stated, it means that -- >> so the security council, can you tell us if all of them recognize you as the ambassador of ukraine? >> yes. ambassador of ukraine. i am here. i am not recalled until another ambassador comes to present his letter of credentials. >> isn't there an impeachment process? and that wasn't gone through with regards to changing. >> there is a procedure for the impeachment. but the parliament took -- the parliament could take the decision on impeachment but the parliament took the decision by the fact that the president left himself his constitutional
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duties to continue to fulfill. so it's practically the same. the parliament voted what is very important by huge constitutional majority. in eans that even his party the parliament -- which there is a defection of his party in the parliament still existing. even one of the leaders of this party declared that he was going for the presidential elections and so on. altogether, it gives absolutely it t for me to state that was a legal process of changing of the powers. and the legal institutions in ukraine. and look. they do not have a president. according to the constitution, the speaker of the parliament takes the duties. and he is trying to perform
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correctly what is in his hands because he is acting. the government was fully created yesterday, but two ministers, minister of defense and foreign affairs, were appointed as an acting persons. why? because these positions are in the responsibility of the the president. the elections come in may. a new president, when in the office, will take the decision either to make these two the ministers or to change them to somebody else. this is absolutely correctly done in accordance with the constitutional procedures. besides the moral support, are you
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expecting or hoping from any concrete actions from security council having in mind that your country is under russian aggression, as you said yourself? >> i didn't say about aggression because this is the legal action up to that. the gave you examples of illegal presence of the huge amount of the russian military persons and equipment and the . and machinery that is why in my view the federation could address what they are doing and then together let's find the solution to help cool down the situation. this is what we expect, the same respect from our sovereignty and security
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guaranteors. i mean those who signed the budapest mem dumb on our nuclear disarmment. the united states, united kingdom, france, china, and russia itself. so they could find the most probably the strongest solutions how to cool down the situation and how to bring peace there. this is what we expect. >> is the une crane, is your country under acgregs having in mind that you have foreign forces into your country or not? >> still, we have not stated like that. neither the parliament nor the ministry. we announced only the protest as to the illegal movement, illegal presence and illegal coming. still, we do not want to be in a strong confrontation. we do not want that. we still demand from them move
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out, let's have the consultations, let's think what we could do to calm down the people in the area. so the people -- the ordinary people don't want any conflict. they are looking for the solution. >> i'm not quite sure i understood what you were saying earlier. where is the military hardware going? where are the attack helicopters and planes going? are they going to the port or to where the fleet is? information. big here we got it just before the security council. gave you my piece of paper. and you will see exactly what i spoke about, whom i called, where were they going. they blocked all ukraine military presence there. i mean, the border guards, the
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police and others. they blocked. and our people are not confronting. thinking about the peaceful solution and demanding the political solution and wisdom from those who send these people. >> two more questions, please. >> ambassador, several months ago the "new york times" said one of the reasons why the president wouldn't sign the association agreement with the european union was because the imf was going to impose austerity measures which would destabilize the ukrainian people as it cuts their services. there actually was a statement, a joke sort of, that the u.s. doesn't send in the marines any more, they send in the imf. and aren't you concerned that the austerity measures that are being imposed in western europe which are leading to tremendous
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social unrest, may now lead to further disturbance in ukraine? > well, the communities that fought three years of the president and his partners into power, they kept encouraging ukraine, saying we are in the european union tomorrow, after tomorrow, and then in two weeks before signing he understood that, well, something happened. after initiating all the -- each and every page of disagreements. so it sounded very strange. that is why people who ran to the street demanding, what happened? explain to us. if you know the problems, why did you never launch the negotiations and consultations with the european union? why you encouraged us to the
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doors of the european union and now you step behind? what will be? we are conducting the consultations, negotiations with the european union. we are blatly to find where are the challenges. it is very easy to avoid problems. the exception to whenever, the reforms which is more important than acsession itself but we are standing on the same place for 23 years. no reforms. we accepted that acseppings to the european union could bring reforms. this is not the club members ticket but this is the motivation for the reforms. motivation and inspiration for reforms. it's never happened. what we will do and what we are doing, we are conducting consultations with our partners sect torly in agriculture, and
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other fields to find where we are to be prepared to have some problems, where we can work. o it's an artificially created problem. the figures presented last year of the possible losses, they were artificial. well, and the last -- >> is there any more -- >> i just want to ask you when you talk about illegal presence, you're not referring to the existing russian bases? are you saying nation league or you just stick with the presence that they had? -- two things. first of all, russian fleet presence. we have agreement on exact rules, procedures within that. the first, our message to
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russia was that these reements were severely violated because the troops moved out, the zones and borders out their location. and the second, they knew -- the new arrivals. i mentioned that the russian military transport, planes, they violated our territorial borders, and helicopters moved in. so we have two problems. inside and outside. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for your presence here. > thank you. inaudible]
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>> good afternoon, everybody. we've just come from an emergency meeting and consultations of the security council on ukraine. it is important that the council came together today on this subject because this is a critical moment for the future of ukraine and the ukrainian people. the united states stands with the ukrainian people in determining their own destiny, their own government, their own future. we are gravely disturbed by reports of russian military deployments into the crimea. the united states calls upon russia to pull back the military forces that are being built up in the region to stand down and to allow the ukrainian people the opportunity to pursue their own government create their own destiny, and to do so freely without intimidation or fear. we call upon all states to respect the sovereignty of ukraine. as various political actors begin making decisions about
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what role they will play in shaping that future, the international community has an opportunity and a responsibility to stand firmly with the people of ukraine and in doing so to prevent unnecessary violence. given the present turbulence it is useful for the council to reiterate certain principles including the unity and territorial integrity of ukraine, the need for peaceful dialogue and the prevention of further violence and the fact that ukraine's future can only be determined by the ukrainian people. in recent days the world has borne witness to the verwhelming witness to the support ukraine has received. at the same time we recognize that this newly formed government will require international assistance as it tries to correct the economic failures and political inequities of the past administration. a key to doing this and to ukraine's stability and economic security depends on in having a healthy relations
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including russia and the european union. the united states stands with the ukrainian people at this remarkable moment and welcomes the formation of the new government. we are pleased that the cabinet is both inclusive and representative and we congratulate the members of the rrn ada and the ukrainian people on their historic achievement. the new government needs to continue its outreach to minority groups in order to help calm the situation and affirm its commitment to protecting minority rights. clearly, this is a message that needs especially to be heard in the crimea where we have seen actions and heard rhetoric that could threaten ukraine's stability. to underline this point let me be clear that the united states would condemn any move to undermine ukraine sovereignty or territorial integrity which we expect all states to respect. the best way for the people to achieve their goals is to work peacefully within the established political system.
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to this end, the united states calls for an urgent international mediation mission to the crimea to begin to deescalate the situation and facilitate productive and peaceful dialogue among all ukrainian parties. we encourage all ukrainians to pursue their aspirations through peaceful dialogue and nonviolent political activity. in combination the new government's efforts with appropriate international assistance to bring about economic recovery and renewed hope for the future. thank you and i will be happy o take a couple questions.
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the secretary general has dispatched an envoy. to ukraine. he remains in ukraine. he is a former ambassador to ukraine as many of you know. historic as connections obviously to many, many parts of ukraine and to the ukrainian people. what we think is important again is that there is a mission at a time when the crisis seems to be escalating rather than deescalating and we think that mission be carried out in service of the territoryle integrity sovereignty and unity of
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ukraine. >> can i ask you how you would describe the russian military movement in crime 83? do these act as a -- >> i'm not going to comment. you'll hear from the president shortly. we are deeply concerned by these reports, deeply concerned by what we see as the facts on the ground. and we urge russia to join us -- lping ukraine get on back on a path to a brighter future. > thank you very much. >> good afternoon. as you know, the members of the security council considered having an urgent meeting in response to a letter of -- [inaudible] >> go ahead.
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>> held an urgent meeting in sponse to a letter dated february 2014 by the permanent representative of ukraine to the president of the security council. the briefing and close consultations were held. the briefing was held by assistant secretary general who briefed the council members on the situation in ukraine. the council members reviewed with concern the recent developments in the country. during the concern was expressed for the ukraine and the council agreed on the importance of restraint by all the actors in the ukraine. they called for inclusive political dollar -- dialogue acknowledging the diversity of ukrainian society.
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in my national capacity, we certainly have concern about the situation and the outbreak of violence in crimea and ukraine. we express our strong support for ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. we call on ukraine's partners -- foreign partners to abide by international law. during the discussions, we all reminded of the discussions to observe multilateral agreements. by all parties. also the ukraine and russian agreement of 1997. we reiterated the obligation of all member states to refrain in international relations from threats or the use of force against territorial integrity, a lyrical independence of any state in any manner with the
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purposes of the united nations. sorry, i have a cold. anybody that recognized the actual government of ukraine? was there a discussion as to who is in charge? states havel member expressed their opinions. i would not be speaking on behalf of individual member states. does remediation require any security council action? >> we have just heard a proposal and it will require further deliberation. it is on the table. >> ukrainian ambassador talked about whether the russian military airplanes that have crossed the borders, did they carry troops? is the security council considering to ease
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unrest in the region? >> the ukrainian ambassador gave specific details but i would assume it is better him who should speak about the situation in his own country than myself. with regards to the situation, the country had an urgent meeting and if need be, i would cy ofe the next presiden the council would hold other meetings, thank you. >> good afternoon, the un security council has just met to discuss the situation in ukraine. meeting, ise of this expressed my deep concern that the recent developments in crimea and particularly reports of russian troop deployment. the united kingdom believes that any newly deployed troops that do not answer to the ukrainian government should withdraw. , my foreignister
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secretary have been in touch with leaders of both the new government in ukraine and russia in the course of today. they have stressed the need for every country to respect the territorial integrity, the unity, and the sovereignty of ukraine. my foreign secretary will travel to ukraine on sunday. both in andparties, out of ukraine, to exercise restraint and avoid actions or rhetoric that would inflame tensions further or impact on the ukraine sovereignty in any way. my foreign secretary welcomed assurances from acting president on respecting the rights of all minorities in ukraine. we want the people of ukraine to be free to determine their own future. it is clear that ukraine wants to move toward a different future and that the voices of those who protested over several
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months have been heard. ukraine and prosperous is in all of our interests. this is not a zero sum game. we should now all work together to help restore stability and protect ukraine's economy. thank you. the foreign secretary was in washington and met with the international monetary fund. what is the relationship between that process and the mediation process that is proposed or trying to address the issues in the crimea? >> there were a number of challenges facing the new government in kiev and one is the economy. my foreign secretary went to see the imf in washington because we believe the imf needs to take the lead in putting together a financial package to help the ukrainian government to recover from the economic crisis it is in and to help ukrainian
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government take the necessary tough decisions for the structural forms that are required to put the economy back on track. this is not directly linked to any political mediation but it is to address one of the key challenges of the new government thin kiev. >> what are the next steps for the security council? will you expect a mediation mission to the ukraine? councilect the security will meet regularly to discuss ukraine if the crisis continues but i don't think that the mediation proposal of the mission that was suggested actually requires security council approval. as i understand it, the idea was that robert ferry special envoy of the secretary-general who is already in kiev might go to crimea and perhaps there might be some other people that would go with him to discuss with the
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authorities there and try to de- escalate the tension in crimea. that would not require a un security council mandate. heard the ukrainian ambassador saying he would expect from the security council some kind of moral support. how do you read that and what does it mean beside condemning the actions? he said it was aggression on the part of ukraine on the part of russia. how do you read that moral support? >> i heard a lot of support from the security council members to his lady in the discussions we have just had. there were no members of the security council who questioned the importance of preserving the territorial integrity, unity, and sovereignty of ukraine.
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what rightask lane it meeting -- can you explain what a private meeting is as opposed to a consultation? >> this was a private meeting initiated by the lithuanian ambassador in a national capacity, not as the president of the security council but it came in the wake of a letter from the ukrainian permanent are presented of asking the security council to meet. a private meeting means that the security council members have an opportunity to hear from another party, in this case the ukrainian permanent representative, but without cameras there and without other members of the united nations being present. thank you very much. >> the russian federation is at
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least as interested as anybody else in the stability and prosperity of ukraine. in fact, i would claim for obvious reasons of geography and history, we are much more inches did in that than some others who profess their knowledge about ukraine and the ukrainian people. maybe this is one of the reasons of the current crisis in ukraine, that too many visitors are claiming the path which the ukrainians should be taking rather than allowing the proper political process in the country. speaking about this meeting, it it is valuable for us because it allowed us to retrace the crisis in ukraine and particularly the current state of the situation in ukraine. view, theoint of crucial element of this instability and the problems in various parts of ukraine is that
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the february 21 agreement was discarded immediately after it was signed. you will recall her was some key elements of that agreement. first of all, the agreement is a constitutional process with the consultation of everyone in ukraine that would produce a constitution that would take care of all the players in the area. the second element was that there should be a government of national unity. that the element is radicals, the people carrying weapons in the streets, should lay down their arms. of course, the presidential election was envisaged toward the end of the year and there was an important element there during the investigation by a position of the authorities including international factors of violence which has taken place in ukraine in the course of the crisis. unfortunately, all of those itngs were discarded and
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created the current situation and instability and the current situation of concern in some regions of the country of where things were going. the government which was formed cannot he described by any definition or standard as a government of national unity because it contains only people from a particular region of the country, central and western ukraine. it does not contain representatives from various political forces. therefore it is something that is causing concern in some parts of ukraine especially that almost the first decision taken kiev was toof abrogate the languages which was adopted two years ago after a very difficult process leading
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to adopting that agreement. obviously, it was seen, as we understand it by people in a number of regions of ukraine, as the effort of the people who found themselves in power in kiev, not to bring about a democratic society but to impose their political will on the rest of the country. what caused this is o of very bitter reaction in parts of the ukraine including crimea where they saw efforts to intimidate various political players. for example, this announcement that the so-called friendship ring will to send to crimea from region, there were people traveling from one region to another, youth groups and others, and that was obviously
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,eant as a sign of intimidation exercising force and intimidation on various political factions in crimea. that is the way we saw it happening in kiev before. the international community needs to think about how to bring about this political process which was envisaged in february 21 agreement and that would provide solid ground for various forms of assistance including financial assistance to ukraine which some are talking about. we are not prepared to provide when russia came in with this offer of financial assistance in the course of the crisis. ladies first. >> ambassador, there has been talk today of an international mediation mission. is that something you would approve of, join,? >> it is something which needs
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to be discussed and analyzed. if the idea of sending ambassadors to the crimea, the point i made in consultation, is we need to ask the authorities in the crimea what they feel about this kind of mission. as a matter of principle, we are engaged -- we are against imposed mediation. if they are comfortable with that, of course, we would have nothing against us. >> you just mentioned that president yanukovich -- you saw the press conference -- what do you think about what he said? he is still the president of ukraine? >> we think the legal aspect of to be president is very questionable. the ambassador of ukraine
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told us that he recorded and presented us with some of the units and helicopters that are presented by the russian federation. he even agreed with the qualification that it was active aggression. how do you describe the presence of the military units from russia? >> we have an agreement with ukraine on the presence of the russian black sea fleet with a base in sebastopol. we are acting within the framework of that agreement. i understand my ukrainian colleague tried to distance himself from this definition of aggression. if he were to use that definition, that would be completely unacceptable. >> do you believe that if mr. yanukovich remains in kiev, he would have been allowed to exercise -- >> this is exactly the problem -- what happened there was immediately after this agreement was signed, not just by president yanukovich and the
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opposition leaders but also the signatures were affected by the foreign ministers of germany, france, and poland. it was supported by the european union. immediately, there were threats the they would storm presidential residence unless he resigns by 10:00 the next morning. that is my understanding. of what caused them to leave the city. was was not something which envisaged in the agreement. that was a clear breach of that agreement. >> there seems to be a move to get the international monetary fund to quickly offer money. russia is a member so would you participate? >> we are prepared to discuss various approaches to dealing with a very dramatic economic situation in ukraine. for us coming from the russian perspective, it is somewhat difficult to discuss it specifically. we don't know what the problem
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of this government will be in what kind of government it will be. will it be a government that will be supported by the broad segment of the ukrainian population? we are open to the idea of the international community meeting to help ukraine but there are too many question marks. >> let me ask you about the military movements in the crimea. hopefully you can clear this up. there have been reports of armed men at airports, reports of more military helicopters coming in to crimea. have you brought in extra forces? actually -- we are trying to ask their colleagues to postpone this meeting until tomorrow to get more information but they wanted to go ahead now but did not want to create a problem. i don't have the specific information. thatall from history books when world war i started, some newspapers in the united kingdom reported that they saw russian
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cossacks at the railway station. those reports are not always true. willing, regardless of the situation now, it may be a military information or may not, we would like to get clarification -- is russia willing to militarily intervene in ukraine to achieve your political goals? >> [laughter] really, even the question is aggravating. we are concerned about the middle east peace process. we are concerned that john kerry has been pushed into this. it's a serious issue. stagesnately, at various of his campaign, he was played with either new ukrainian authorities. for instance, the first meeting he had with the new chairman of
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the rada, their press service reported that he supported the current processes. what it meant onto those circumstances when n -- was not clear. the day before there was the february 21 agreement that was supported by the secretary-general. if the representative was there, you would them to support this agreement which was signed the day before. then we are given the expedition that he did not really say or mean it. what he said was completely different. is treading on very difficult ground. if you are asking again about crimea,ibility of the if the authorities are ok with that, why not? it's not a situation where one can improvise. muchnk we have seen too improvisation rather than sticking to the solid ground of the february 21 agreement. situationere was the at the beginning of the syrian
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crisis, you say that the united states, france, england were meddling. you say they were creating a situation that would get worse. i remember i was here. how do you judge what the european union, the united states, in a situation in the ukraine -- are you ready to say something similar? have they behaved in a way they shouldn't? >> i don't want to draw any parallels between syria and ukraine. secondly, yes, we definitely saw some imposed mediation and some people who are trying to determine for ukraine what they wanted. you remember the footage when this acre of the parliament from one of the baltic countries was speaking at the opposition rally. the foreign minister of germany was actually marching in the demonstration with the opposition. are going to have a referendum on the independence
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of scotland so can we expect baltic politicians marching there among those who are pitching for independence, speaking at rallies at edinburgh? some of those things, were quite graphic. they were completely had nothing to do with the idea of no interference in the general affairs of sovereign countries. they emphasize sovereignty but they behaved as if ukraine was a province of the european union, not even a country. that of course i think is impolite at least toward our ukrainian friends. maybe more importantly, there was an effort to determine for ukraine what they need to do. you alluded to the president yanukovich and he mentioned it briefly in the press statement -- and they did realize, the ukrainian authorities at that time, that the signing of the association agreement would entail very grave economic consequences for them and they tried to buy some time and have
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a deal with russia and it would take some time to think about it. you see what happened. they were crowded and were told that they were doing the wrong thing. this trouble than started. it should not have started at all. they have a democratic collective resident -- president and his election was coming up one year from now. he appointed the prime minister. they could have taken the post. he could've signed the association agreement with the european union if he wanted to. he should have taken the consequences -- the responsibility for the consequences but they went for toppling the president and doing a regional change operation. it was done in a very dramatic way for the entire ukrainian society. yes, i think i can say that the interference from our western
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colleagues has not been helpful. they have a certain responsibility for those dramatic consequences and a responsibility for not following through with the agreement they themselves brought about and affixed their signatures to on february 21. >> what is the bottom line for moscow? >> the best way to resolve the crisis is to look hard again at february 21 agreement and try to do things the way they were described there. they need to form a new constitution. they need to refrain from conducting a presidential election which will create more friction within the country. they need to stop trying to intimidate other regions and
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other political forces. they made to show in their actual policies that this is about a national reconciliation and about national unity and about territorial integrity of ukraine. they need to work towards establishing a common ground of their. unfortunately so far, we don't see that in practice. uighurs and declarations to that effect but we don't see that in practice. thank you very much. >> friday afternoon, president obama just between ukraine and the russian federation and reports that russian troops were in the ukraine crimean region. he spoke to reporters from the breathing room for about five minutes. -- from the reefing room for about five minutes.
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areaiefing room >> good afternoon, everybody. over the last couple of days, the united states is responded to events as they have unfolded in ukraine. we have been clear but one fundamental principle, the ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their together with our european allies, we have urged an end to the violence and in tourist ukrainians to pursue a course in which they stabilize their country, forge a broad-based government, and moved to elections this spring. i also spoke several days ago with president and my administration has been in
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communication with russia and they can be part of an international community effort to support the stability and success of a united ukraine going forward. which is not only in the interest of people of ukraine and the international community but also in russia's interests. however, we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the russian federation inside of ukraine. russia has a historic relationship with ukraine including cultural and economic ties and the military facility in crimea. but any violation of ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply dissed -- destabilizing which is not in the interest of ukraine, russia, or europe. it would represent a profound interest france in matters that must be determined by the ukrainian people. it would be a clear violation of russia's commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of ukraine.
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and of international laws. just days after the world came ,o russia for the olympic games there was a condemnation by nations around the world and united states will stand with the international community to expand there will be costs of intervention in ukraine. the events of the past several months remind us of how difficult democracy can be in a country with this situation but the ukrainian people have reminded us that human innings have a universal right to determine their own future. right now, the situation remains very fluid. vice president biden just spoke with the prime minister of that, ino assure him this difficult moment, the united states supports his government's efforts and stands for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democratic future of ukraine. i also commend ukraine governments restraint and its
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commitment to uphold its international obligations. we will continue to coordinate closely with our european allies. we will continue to communicate directly with the russian government and we will continue to keep all of you in the press corps and the american people informed as events develop. thanks very much. >> coming up in a moment, today's headlines live on "washington journal," followed by first lady michelle obama on the fourth anniversary of her let's move initiative and new proposed attrition labels for it later, hearing on alzheimer's disease with testimony from the director of the nih. and actor seth rogen. >> the new website makes it easier than ever to keep tabs on washington, d.c. and share your finds with
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facebook, twitter, and other social networks. easy search functions like you new tools make it simple to create short video clips and share them with your friends via facebook, twitter, and other social networks or you can send links to your video clips with e-mail. find the share tools on our video player or look for the green icon links all over the site. watch washington on the new and if you see something of interest, clip it and share it with your friends. in just a moment, we will be taking your calls live along with viewers tweets and facebook comments. in the upcoming primaries in texas and illinois and the special election in florida. and a look at changes to nutrition labels on wreckage food by the fda. we will be joined by the american university representative.
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defense news reporter paul mcleary will discuss pentagon efforts to boost technology programs and the facebook proposed budget cuts. "washington journal" is next. ♪ host: good morning. we have a three-hour washington journal for you this saturday morning. we will discuss election 2013, proposed reductions to the military budget and a new proposal to overhaul food packaging labels. but first, we will focus on the ongoing local and certainty in the ukraine. president obama issued a warning after the government accused russia of moving military personnel and equipment into crimea. ups morning, we are opening
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